(Today in the Korea Nazarene University faculty chapel, I am giving this short farewell address. I hope to do the first few paragraphs in Korean and then switch to English with the translation on the screen behind me. KNU is one of the things I love most about Korea.)
Our family moved to Korea 8 years ago in 2004. However, in a few months, our family will be moving back to the USA. As I say goodbye, I would like to share 8 thanksgivings from our time here and 8 prayer requests for the future of KNU.
First, I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn Korean. However, my biggest regret for my time in Korea is that I did not learn more Korean.
So my first prayer request is that KNU will become more effective in helping our international faculty and students learn Korean. (However, because I didn’t study enough, I have to change to English now!)
Second, I’m thankful that KNU welcomed my wife, Sarah, as your first international exchange student in 1999.
My second prayer request is that God will help KNU to see the great potential of KNU’s international students. Your investment in them is an investment in God’s work around the world, but it’s also an investment in the future of KNU.
Third, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the largest, most dynamic Nazarene university in the world. Your hard work is making a big difference.
However, in Korea’s intense academic environment, the greatest temptations are the idols of success, money, and power. This can destroy our families, our faith, and ultimately our university. My deepest prayer for KNU is that God will protect KNU from this most dangerous temptation.
Fourth, I thank God for those who have been guides for me in Korean culture as well as the unique culture and systems of KNU.
My request is that God will encourage many of you to serve as cultural guides to the other foreigners in the KNU community. Your support is extremely important.
Fifth, I’m grateful for the way KNU and KNU International English Church have been able to support each other. Through the years, we have helped each other in many ways. And now, we are so happy that KNU is becoming more involved in the partnership with Bangladesh.
My prayer is that we will continue to develop this synergy in God’s mission. May God bless us with increasing mutual support and cross-fertilization.
Sixth, I’m grateful to the people of KNU International English Church. You have been patient with my mistakes, generous with sharing my passions, and faithful in teaching me how to pastor.
I pray that God enables you to go deeper in your relationship with him and deeper in our mission to be a loving community that changes our world.
Seventh, I must express my deep gratitude for my family. God has blessed me with a beautiful and supportive wife. We came to Korea with a baby who has become a bright and passionate almost-woman. And in Korea, God has given us a son who continually adds joy to our lives.
My prayer is that God will continually make KNU a community where families thrive and grow.
Eighth and most of all, I want to express my foundational gratitude to God. God has blessed us far beyond what we expected or deserved.
My prayer is that all of us here today will put our lives in God’s hands without reserve and trust God to be faithful beyond our expectations.